Miki Iwata [1941-2011]

March 18, 1941 - June 12, 2011


IWATA, MIKI, retired Captain, USN, Naval Nurse Corp, passed away on June 12th. She was born in 1941 in Montebello, CA Following her family's internment in Poston, AZ during World War II, she was raised in Seabrook, NJ and graduated from Bridgeton High School in 1959. A graduate of the Presbyterian Hospital School of Nursing in Phila, PA, she went on to attain her BA in nursing, and was a certified nurse practitioner. Miki enlisted in the Navy in 1966. She served in Vietnam on the USS Sanctuary and on the USS Yosemite, among the first women to serve on a Navy ship. She was assigned to many stations throughout the world, retiring after having served 29 years in the US Navy with numerous awards and citations. Captain Miki is survived by a brother Masahiro Iwata (Carolyn) of Baltimore, MD; a sister Misao Walck (Roger) and her husband Roger of Wilmington, DE; a sister Michi Muchisky (Thomas) of St. Louis, MO; and a sister Misono Miller (Ronald) of Millville, NJ. She will be sorely missed by her ten nephews and nieces, and her 16 grand nephews and nieces. While retired she had many volunteer activities including visiting the sick, mentoring children after school, providing assistance to the homeless, and serving as a national officer in the Navy Nurse Corp Association. She relished her mornings at the downtown YMCA and the friendships made, especially in her TaiChi classes at which she excelled. She loved children and animals. Miki was an active member of the Conway United Methodist Church, a member of the choir and Church Council, and in charge of establishing the Stephens Ministry for those in crisis. Miki was known by her family and friends for her genuine caring for others, her fun-loving spirit, and her willingness to lend a helping hand wherever needed. All who knew Miki are better for it and will truly miss her. Funeral will be held at the Conway United Methodist Church at 3401 S. Conway Road, Orlando, on Monday, June 20, with viewing and visitation at 9:30 to 11 a.m. and funeral service at 11am, with reception following. In lieu of flowers contributions can be made to the Conway United Methodist Church at 3401 S. Conway Rd, Orlando 32812; the Orlando Downtown YMCA at 433 N. Mills Ave, Orlando 32803; or the Naval Nurse Corps Assn, at PO Box 5983, Virginia Beach, VA 23471. Services entrusted to CAREY HAND COLONIAL FUNERAL HOME/ 407.898.2561 Please visit our website at www.careyhandcolonialfh.com to offer your online condolences.

Memorial Contributions

In leiu of flowers, contributions can be made to the Conway United Methodist Church at 3401 S. Conway Rd., Orlando, 32812; the Orlando Downtown YMCA at 433 N. Mills Ave, Orlando, 32803; or the Naval Nurse Corps Assn, at PO Box 5983, Virginia Beach, VA 23471.

Share a Memory

Please join us in remembering Miki Iwata by visiting our Memorial at www.CareyHandColonialFH.com.

Through this site, we invite you to share your thoughts and fond memories with our family.


Dear Friends of IDignity,

This world has lost a wonderful person, yet we are all blessed by the time she shared with us and those in need.  Miki Iwata passed away on Sunday June 12, which remarkably was also Pentecost, a day that commemorates the Holy Spirit descending upon the Disciples of Jesus Christ and recognized by many as the birth of the Christian Church.  Although I had only known Miki through her volunteering at 19 IDignity events, her love to serve the less fortunate was always evident.  Thankfully I was able to attend her funeral service and it was made even more apparent that this love was shared freely with so many others and always to bring glory to God.  Miki’s life was a shining example of what it means to share God’s love and one I will always admire.

Please take a moment to visit http://www.idignity.org/miki-iwata to learn more about the extraordinary life of Miki Iwata.

Michael Dippy
IDignity Director


IDignity’s Attorney, Jackie Dowd, asked to share the following about Miki.

It was just a little thing, a moment shared with Miki, but I found myself chuckling about it again last week. Just a few hours later, I learned that she had passed away.

Miki Iwata was a regular volunteer at IDignity’s legal table. Her cheerful enthusiasm for helping our clients was contagious, and she was always ready to pitch in at whatever needed to be done.

She was doing one of those unnoticed (but appreciated) chores when Miki and I first connected. I’d already ruined two IDignity t-shirts with blue ink blotches and couldn’t figure out how, when I saw Miki one morning with the exact same blotches on her shirt. She had just finished passing out supplies, making sure that each station had pens and notepads. It turned out the pen holder had blue ink that was rubbing off on anyone who touched it.

We laughed together that early morning, and began to connect as humans. Only after that did I learn the amazing story of Miki’s life. I only wish I had the opportunity to hear more of her stories.